GOD, THE UNHNOWN (Gr. 'A-rpcb'crrcuOcc3). Paul, in his address on Mars' Hill, said that he had seen in Athens "an altar with this inscription, 'To the unknown God' " (Acts xvii:22, 23).
Considerable difficulty has been found by many interpreters to reconcile this with the fact, that no mention is made by the classic authors of any altar in Athens bearing this inscription, whilst we are informed by Pausanias (Attic. i :4; Ehoc. v :14) and Philostratus (Vit. Apollonii Tyan., vi :3), that there were several altars in scribed eryvcZurrois Owls, in the plural; and different suppositions have been made to account for the Apostle's language (Kuinoel, in Act. xvii. 23). But why should we not receive the apostle's own testimony on this subject, as reported by the inspired historian? It is certain that no one is in circumstances to affirm that no altar existed in Athens bearing such an inscription at the time Paul visited that city; and when, therefore, Paul, publicly addressing the Athenians, says he saw such an altar, why should we hesitate for a mo ment to take his words for what they literal ly mean? Besides, there is nothing in what Pau sanias and Philostratus affirm that appears in compatible with Paul's assertion. It is to be observed that neither of them says there were altars, on each of which the inscription was in the plural number, but only there were 'altars of gods called unknown' (Punta OcCap dpouarouipwv dPyp6crrwv); so that for aught that appears to the contrary, each altar might bear the in.scription which Paul says he saw upon one.
GOEL (go'8). See BLOOD-REVENGE.
GOG (g6g), (Heb. 1:,gohg; Gr. ntry, gogue).
L This name occurs in Ezek. xxxiii:3, 14, and xxxix:1 1, as a proper name; that of a prince of Magog pan), a people that were to come from the North to invade the land of Israel, and be there defeated. In a different sense, but corre sponding with the assertions of other Oriental authors, in whose traditions this people occupy an important place, Gog occurs in Rev. xx :8, as the name of a country.
Interpreters have given very different explana tions of the terms Gog and Magog; but they have generally understood them as symbolical expressions for the heathen nations of Asia, or more particularly for the Scythians, a vague knowledge of whom seems to have reached the Jews in Palestine about that period. Prof. Sayce says : "For an explanation of Magog we must go to the prophet Ezekiel. He tells us (xxxvip : 2) that' Magog was the land of Gog, 'the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.' Gog is the Gugu of the Assyrian inscriptions, the Gyges of the Greeks ; and in Magog therefore we must see a title of Lydia. The name is evidently a compound of that of Gog" (Races of the Old Testament, p. 45)• As a collective name, Magog seems also to indicate in the Hebrew the tribes about the Caucasian mountains. According to Reinegge (Descrip. of the Caucasus, ii. 79) some of the Caucasian people call their mountains Gog, and the highest northern points Magog.
2. A Reubenite, son of Shemaialt Chron. v:4)